Tech Brief: EU-U.S. Data-Sharing Pact to Take Effect Next Week

Today’s Washington Brief

  • The European Commission said EU governments have approved Privacy Shield, a commercial data transfer agreement between Europe and the United States. The pact is slated to take effect next week. (Reuters)
  • The 17,000 names leaked following a hack of Democratic National Convention documents belong mostly to people who bought tickets to DNC events. The hacker, who goes by Guccifer 2.0, posted names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers to a blog. (The Hill)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson have the largest social media outreach and audiences of all potential running mates, according to data collected by an online social media tool. (Politico)

Today’s Business Brief

  • The Justice Department asked a federal court to mandate Facebook Inc. comply with an Internal Revenue Service investigation into whether the company significantly understated the value of property transferred to a subsidiary in Ireland for tax-reduction purposes. (CNN)
  • Huawei Technologies Co. filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile US Inc. for allegedly violating the Chinese company’s patents related to wireless networks. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Wendy’s said it was hit by a cyberattack that stole debit and credit card information at 1,025 locations of the fast food chain. The company said the malware could have been working as early as fall 2015. (BBC News)

Today’s Chart Review

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Feds asked to investigate live-streamed death of motorist killed by cop
David Kravets, Ars Technica

Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota on Thursday asked the Department of Justice to investigate the killing of a black motorist shot by a white police officer. Philando Castile’s dying moments were live-streamed on Facebook, and the incident prompted a comment from President Barack Obama.

Body cameras now in half of big city police departments
Rachel Lerman, The Seattle Times

Body camera technology, often cited as a tool for ascertaining what actually happened in police shootings, is now being used or procured by slightly more than half of large municipal police departments in the U.S., according to one Seattle company that makes the systems. Axon, a division of Taser that is based in Seattle, said its data shows 36 of 69 major U.S. cities now use, or have decided to use, body camera technology.

Brexit vote has already hurt tech but the next step could be worse
Alex Hern, The Guardian

One of the favoured plans to restrict freedom of movement but protect the UK economy following the vote to leave the EU would exacerbate the damage of Brexit to the technology sector companies fear. According to commenters such as the Financial Times’ Wolfgang Münchau, the UK might negotiate a bilateral free-trade agreement which would see it giving up “passporting” rights (the ability to offer financial services throughout the EU without needing to be subject to overseas regulators) in order to secure an opt-out of one of the EU’s four fundamental freedoms: the freedom of movement of people.

Laptop in wreckage of Tesla Autopilot car: Florida investigators
Paul Lienert, Reuters

Investigators found a laptop computer in the Tesla Model S sedan involved in a fatal crash in May while running on autopilot, Florida investigators said on Thursday, leaving it unclear whether the driver was distracted at the time. Neither the laptop nor a DVD player also found in the vehicle was running after the crash, said Sergeant Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol.

Tesla’s Autopilot Vexes Some Drivers, Even Its Fans
Mike Spector et al., The Wall Street Journal

After his Tesla Model S had driven itself for 17 straight minutes on Interstate 66 in Virginia last November, Carl Bennett, sitting in the driver’s seat, began looking at a printed document. Seconds later, he glanced up and saw a truck parked in the road ahead.

Former PropertyShark CEO linked to a Russian spy gears up for potential mayoral run
Joe Anuta, Crain’s New York Business

The former chief executive of PropertyShark, a Manhattan-based real estate data website, who became known for his romantic involvement with a Russian spy, is considering a mayoral run. Bill Staniford, a serial tech entrepreneur and cousin to former City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, has been meeting with political consultants and Republican leaders in several boroughs with an eye on challenging Mayor Bill de Blasio next fall.

U.S. Index Futures Inch Higher as Investors Await Payrolls Data
Camilla Naschert, Bloomberg News

S&P 500 contracts expiring in September added 0.2 percent to 2,095.5 at 11:03 a.m. in London. Equities lost early gains yesterday as declines in oil dragged energy shares lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 28 points to 17,846 today.

Intellectual Property

Huawei Technologies Files Patent Suit Against T-Mobile US
Juro Osawa, The Wall Street Journal

Huawei Technologies Co. said it has filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile US Inc., alleging the U.S. telecommunications carrier violated the Chinese company’s patents related to wireless networks. In its complaint filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Huawei said T-Mobile is using its patented technology without signing a licensing agreement.

Telecommunications, Broadcast & Cable

Verizon’s new cellphone plans, explained
Brian Fung, The Washington Post

Verizon this week rolled out a few updates to its cellphone plans, which will affect new customers as well as any existing customers who choose to migrate over. The most important change has to do with the pricing of its data plans, which are going up.

Mobile & Social

Facebook is being investigated by the IRS
Seth Fiegerman, CNN

The U.S. Justice Department filed a petition in court on Wednesday to force Facebook (FB, Tech30) to comply with an ongoing IRS investigation into whether the company significantly understated the value of property transferred to an Ireland subsidiary as part of a complex maneuver to reduce its tax payments The issue dates back to 2010, according to the IRS, when Facebook shifted the rights for its worldwide business, excluding the U.S. and Canada, to Facebook Ireland, including certain hard to quantify assets like its “user base, online platform and marketing intangibles.”

Sanders, Carson top VP contenders when it comes to social media
Bianca Padró Ocasio, Politico

If Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump want running mates with an outsize impact on social media, they need to look no further than Bernie Sanders and Ben Carson. Data collected in the past 30 days by CrowdTangle, an online social monitoring tool, shows that out of some of the possible vice presidential contenders for the main parties, the former presidential candidates have the largest social media audiences and interactions.

Uber Raises $1.15 Billion From First Leveraged Loan
Douglas MacMillan, The Wall Street Journal

Uber Technologies Inc. has raised $1.15 billion from a new high-yield loan, according to a person familiar with the matter, as the ride-hailing company stockpiles cash to ward off regulatory and competitive threats around the world. The new leveraged loan, Uber’s first, brings the amount raised in debt and equity to more than $15 billion and helps its existing shareholder base avoid stock dilution.

Court-ordered documents undermine Uber’s claim that it knew nothing of secret investigation
Matthew Flamm, Crain’s New York Business

A supposedly rogue investigation that Uber originally claimed it knew nothing about—and which could turn out to be a costly embarrassment for the ride-hailing giant—began with a 10-word request from the company’s general counsel. “Could we find out a little more about this plaintiff?” Salle Yoo wrote to Uber’s chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, on Dec. 16, 2015.

Data & Privacy

EU-U.S. commercial data transfer pact clears final hurdle
Julia Fioretti, Reuters

A commercial data transfer pact provisionally agreed by the EU executive and the United States in February received the green light from EU governments on Friday, the European Commission said, paving the way for it to come into effect next week. Its introduction should end months of legal limbo for companies such as Google, Facebook and MasterCard after the EU’s top court struck down the previous data transfer framework, Safe Harbour, on concerns about intrusive U.S. surveillance.


17K names in leaked DNC database appear to be ticket purchases
Joe Uchill, The Hill

The 17,000 names leaked after a hack of Democratic National Convention documents appear to largely belong to people who purchased tickets to DNC events, many of the listed donors have confirmed. The database includes names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers.

Food chain Wendy’s hit by massive hack
Dave Lee, BBC News

Popular US food chain Wendy’s has been hit by a massive cyber attack, the company has confirmed. The company reported suspicious activity earlier this year, but the scale of the breach is far bigger than first anticipated.

State Department reopens internal review of Clinton’s email use
Carol Morello, The Washington Post

The State Department said late Thursday that it will reopen an internal review into any mishandling of classified information in emails between former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and her top aides now that the Justice Department has decided she will not be prosecuted. One possible outcome of such internal reviews is that employees, even if they no longer work there, could face a range of disciplinary actions, from having notes placed in their employment files to losing their security clearances.

Why rogue employees may pose bigger threat to corporate data than hackers
Jaikumar Vijayan, The Christian Science Monitor

As a computer programmer for Monsanto Co., Jiunn-Ren Chen developed algorithms and wrote programs that gave him access to the agriculture giant’s confidential trade secrets and proprietary information. But last month, after Mr. Chen left the company, Monsanto sued its former employee for allegedly abusing his access to steal 52 files containing sensitive company data.

A Message from the Electronic Payments Coalition:

The Electronic Payments Coalition supports the hard work of Chairman Hensarling and his push to repeal the Durbin Amendment as part of the Financial CHOICE Act. Learn more about the harmful effects of the Durbin Amendment.

Opinions, Editorials & Perspectives

Privacy Shield is the right replacement for Safe Harbour
Julie Brill, Euractiv

The free flow of data is essential to an ever-growing segment of the global economy.  Yet some policymakers and advocates, citing privacy concerns, have called for shutting off the faucet and restricting data flow, to the detriment of European consumers and European businesses, both small and large.

4 ways Clinton tech plan would destroy US tech leadership
Mark Jamison, Tech Policy Daily

It seems that Silicon Valley and pundits from the left and the right have found a lot to love in Hillary Clinton’s technology and innovation agenda. Maybe they should think again.

The FCC’s lack of respect for due process, part II
Lawrence J. Spiwak, The Hill

Since Tom Wheeler took over the chairmanship of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), we have seen one assault after another on American’s procedural due process rights. In addition to the well-documented improprieties with the White House during the Open Internet debate, Wheeler, among other transgressions, has attempted to force nonprofits to reveal their donors in strict violation of Supreme Court precedent, hired advocates who had filed in significant FCC dockets as an interested party to come into the commission to supervise those very dockets, and attempted to hold a FCC “town hall” in which he had invited an outside party to participate and comment on a yet-to-be-released item during the “sunshine” period.

How the Media Screwed Up the Fatal Tesla Accident
Nick Bilton, Vanity Fair

Saturday, May 7, was yet another tragically fatal day on American roadways. A woman in Chicago ran a red light, killing one person and sending six others to the emergency room. On Florida’s east coast, not far from Jacksonville, a car flipped on I-95 and killed four more people.

A Message from the Electronic Payments Coalition:

Members of the Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC) support reversing the damaging impact of the Durbin Amendment on customers, small businesses, and financial institutions of all sizes. Read their letter now to learn more.

Research Reports, Issue Briefs & Case Studies

Global Information Technology Report 2016
Silja Baller et al., World Economic Forum

he exponential speed of developments; disruption across all major industries; and the impact on entire systems of production, management, and governance are what differentiates these developments from previous “industrial revolutions.” However, while all these developments will bring many benefits, they also carry risks.

The Modern News Consumer: News attitudes and practices in the digital era
Amy Mitchell et al., The Pew Research Center

Wave after wave of digital innovation has introduced a new set of influences on the public’s news habits. Social media, messaging apps, texts and email provide a constant stream of news from people we’re close to as well as total strangers.

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